Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Iron County solar plants offer tax benefits, not long-term jobs

The latest round of anticipated solar farm layoffs occurred last week when Mortenson Construction left Cedar City after completing a solar plant in Iron County. Iron County officials estimated more than 100 layoffs from Mortenson’s but said the county never envisioned the 17 planned solar projects to be an economic stimulant in the form of long-term jobs.

Since the December opening of Utah's first utility-scale size solar project in Parowan, six others have been completed and are producing power, although they are not as large. There are also three more in the Iron Spring/Granite Mountain areas west of Cedar City that are under construction, and an 80-megawatt plant west of Newcastle that should be done soon.

 Three more solar plants are in the planning stages near Quichapa Lake west of Cedar City that were originally planned by SunEdison but have since been pursued by others. The Spectrum